River Tubing on the River Feshie

The river tubing was a laughYee-hah!

River tubing comes from North America where it usually entails a relaxing float down a gentle river, often in the lovely warm sunshine; altogether a mellow experience. River tubing with Full On Adventure in the Cairngorms National Park is a different experience. For us, it was an adrenaline-filled ‘full-on’ white water adventure, shooting over rapids, bumping past (and into) rocks in mid-stream and gliding past towering crags. The instructors can find you a gentle, babbling mountain stream if that is what you wish, but we opted to go the white water route!

As you all know, the mountain streams here can be a wee bit nippy even in the middle of summer, so we were kitted out for our adventure in full wetsuits, including wetsuit bootees; a helmet (there are big rocks in the river); and special neoprene flipper hand paddle gloves. Oh, and buoyancy aids in case we fell in – which we all did on several occasions.

River tubing

After squeezing ourselves into the above ‘fancy dress’ costumes, I was surprised Neil (who opted not to join in) was able to recognise all five of us. But he did, and he managed to juggle taking photos of each of us with everyone’s cameras.

Our super instructor, Chris ran through a brief lesson on dry land. Basically: go backwards on the calmer stretches and lean back and ‘row’ backwards, and shoot the rapids head on and hold on tight! The ‘hold on tight to your tube’ bittie must have sunk in very well to each of us, as I know that the couple of times I fell in (when the tube flipped over 180 degrees), I did not let go of my tube!

River tubing

Then he demonstrated this hand flapping thing on the water

River tubing

and we all tried it too.

River tubing

Soon it was time to watch as Chris demonstrated how to run a wee rapid

River tubing

And we went too.

River tubing

Easy! Nothing to it! but great fun

Part way down the stream one or two of us were daft enough to take a wee jump into the water from the crags. I know this is only a wee jump,. but this was a big thing for me, as I don’t even like jumping into the swimming pool

River tubing

Chris had told us that you don’t always have a lot of control of our vessel, because, after all, it is a rubber ring! He, too, took a spill.

River tubing

At least he regained control very coolly

I, too, did a flip upside down here – but went a bit further in the water before scrambling onto the rocks.

Going, going,

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River tubing

River tubing

I got back in and finished in a bit more style!

River tubing

Thanks to Full On Adventure, based in Aviemore in the Cairngorm National Park, for providing us a fun, free staff outing. They offer a wide range of other land and water-based activities including: white water rafting; canoeing; kayaking; canyoning; mountain biking; and rock climbing.

8 comments on “River Tubing on the River Feshie

  1. When I was a lad we did this sort of thing on the river Irvine in Ayrshire with old car tyres, still we had nothing to contend with in the way of “rapids” or white water for that… Amazing the amount of kit you need to do almost anything these days but you sure look cool in neoprene Sheila! You looked as if you were having a lot of fun (as you were) can’t quite compete with that but I’m
    Just back from Saltholme RSPB Reserve today, we have a busy week for us volunteers relaying paths so lots of physical action to keep an auld yin fit..

  2. Well the volunteer work certainly does keep you fit. I was thinking of you last Tuesday when I set off on a 3-day backpacking trip. This was a solo trip (which I’ll write about shortly) and I was carrying a heavy pack. After the first hour I was feeling the strain! I actually said to myself “How on earth did Freddie walk 28 miles carrying a full rucksack? I’m knackered after 3 miles!” I only managed a paltry 10 miles each day.

  3. Now that’s right up my street – or should that be river. I’m a bit of an avid gorge scrambler or any activity involving rivers as a play area. Great fun!

    • We were supposed to be going canyoning today (canyoning is said to be the big brother to gorge walking), with another Aviemroe-based company, G2 Outdoor. but the river was running too high. Instead we did a fun white water rafting trip on the River Findhorn. I’ll write a wee blog post shortly.

    • I’m not sure which river they had planned that day, but they usually use the Laggan or Bruar canyon.
      The whiter water rafting was on the Findhorn and was a gentle trip (grade 2/3 rapids) as they had a family along too with young children along too. They also do trips on the Spey which is usually grade 3/4 rapids.

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